D-Backs @ Dodgers August 30, 2023: Pepiot returns and looks to finish off a sweep against Arizona

The Dodgers took the middle game of the series in pretty dominant fashion, with a 9-1 win that never really felt close. The Diamondbacks had Merrill Kelly and Zac Gallen on the hill in the first two games of the series, and the Dodgers put up 13 runs on 21 hits in 10 1/3 innings off the two of them. Clayton Kershaw was far from dominant, but battled through command issues and held Arizona to a run on three hits (and three walks) in five innings. It gave the Dodgers their 23rd win in August and kept them 13.5 up on the Giants, who nearly got a no-hitter from Alex Cobb yesterday. The Giants already lost today, so the Dodgers have a chance to go up 14.5 as they end their season series with the Diamondbacks tonight. They’re 7-5 against Arizona and have outscored them 65-47 in the 12 games. Arizona is currently tied with the Giants for the final Wild Card spot, so there’s a chance the two teams meet again in October.

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7:10 PM Los Angeles
RF Carroll (L) 2B Betts
2B Marte (S) 1B Freeman (L)
LF Pham LF Peralta (L)
1B Walker DH Muncy (L)
CF Thomas (L) RF Heyward (L)
DH Gurriel Jr. 3B Hernández
3B Peterson (L) CF Outman (L)
C Herrera (S) SS Rojas
SS Perdomo (S) C Barnes
P Pfaadt (R) P Pepiot (R)

Ryan Pepiot makes his third appearance of the season and his first as a regular roster member, not a 27th man doubleheader call-up. Pepiot has looked pretty great in his previous two outings. In the first game of the doubleheader against the Marlins, Pepiot allowed a run on three hits over five innings. Last time out, he also allowed a run on three hits, but this time in only four innings. He’s struck out 11 in his nine innings (with only one walk) and has a 32.4 percent whiff rate. Take that with a grain of salt, as the Marlins and Guardinas both have not-great offenses (22nd and 23rd in wRC+, respectively). It’s still promising to see and Pepiot being good could pay off next year when the Dodgers have like zero starting pitching healthy and under contract.

Pepiot made nine appearances in 2022 and somehow three of them were against the Diamondbacks. The first of those came in his second career start, surprisingly in a doubleheader. He walked three and allowed two hits and three runs over four innings, but took a no decision as the Dodgers won 7-6. He started in Arizona 10 days later and also issued three walks, but only allowed one run over 4 1/3 innings. Pepiot’s last appearance of 2022 came out of the bullpen against Arizona and he allowed only one hit and one walk over three shutout innings.

Brandon Pfaadt makes the 14th start of his rookie year for the Diamondbacks. He’s had a rough start to his career, with a 5.91 ERA/5.37 FIP in 67 innings so far this season. He allowed 13 runs in his first two starts (9 2/3 innings combined), which set him pretty far back ERA-wise. He had a couple other disastrous outings (five runs in 3.2 innings against Boston, six runs in two innings against Tampa). However, Pfaadt has been pretty good in August. In five starts this month, Pfaadt has a 3.03 ERA and has only allowed 21 hits and 10 runs in 29 2/3 innings. His worst start of the month came in Arizona against the Dodgers, where he allowed four runs and six hits in 4 2/3 innings. He turned in his best career start two turns ago, holding the Padres to one hit (and three walks) over seven shutout innings. He got his first career win last time out, as he held the Reds to two runs over 5 1/3 innings.

Pfaadt primarily throws a fastball, sweeper and change. He’s thrown the four-seamer 46.9 percent of the time, but is allowing a .322 average and .645 slugging off it (expected numbers are slighty better, .292 and .549, respectively). He’s used his sweeper 26.7 percent of the time and is only allowing a .140 average and .279 slugging off it (.180xBA and .350xSLG) and it has a 31.5 percent whiff rate. He’s thrown a changeup 13.4 percent of the time (mostly to lefties) and has mixed in a sinker and non-sweeping curve.

Austin Barnes gets the start behind the plate as Will Smith is out of the lineup today. Max Muncy will DH with Enrique Hernandez starting at third.


Tyson Miller was DFA’d again.

Miller allowed a hit and recorded two strikeouts in two innings last night, but was DFA’d by the Dodgers for the fourth time (and second time by the Dodgers) this season. The DFA also clears up a 40-man spot, potentially for the upcoming return of Shelby Miller in the coming days.

Let the record show i wrote that previous paragraph before this news.

Miller will be back in LA today and will be activated in the coming days most likely.


The Dodgers might also be getting Joe Kelly back in the coming weeks.

Kelly threw a bullpen and will throw another in a couple days. If his elbow doesn’t act up, he could face hitters Tuesday.

In non-pitcher-injury news, J.D. Martinez is also nearing return.

Martinez is expected to take BP tomorrow and go to OKC on a rehab assignment. He’s expected to return in DC next weekend.


First pitch is scheduled for 7:10 PM PT and will be shown on SportsNet LA.

About Alex Campos

I've been writing about the Dodgers since I graduated from Long Beach State, where I covered the Dirtbags in my senior year. I'm either very good or very bad at puns.